ATD Blog

" brings a level of professional gravitas that is worth it for yourself and your career development."


Otito Iwuchukwu Okpor.jpg
Who are the more than 4,500 talent development professionals who have earned the APTD or CPTD credential? Get to know the talented and diverse community:

Otito Iwuchukwu Okpor is an Associate Professor and Consultant in the US. She earned the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®) credential in 2022.

Why did you pursue the CPTD?
I set the CPTD certification as a learning and development stretch goal for myself.

Having left the world of corporate consulting and delving deep into molecular life sciences research for over a decade, taking the CPTD exam was a way to show that I could bridge the gaps in my self-assessment using ATD’s Talent Development Capability Model.

How have you benefited from the credential—professionally and/or personally?
This is the first (what I call) “outside the book” credential that I can apply across multiple industries and functional areas. Coupling my knowledge and experience with all that I learned in the process of preparing for the certification has been a real game changer.

What advice would you share with others considering certification?
Go for it. Setting this goal and reaching it brings a level of professional gravitas that is worth it for yourself and your career development.


How do you think certification helps the talent development field?
As someone in a professional licensing field, the certification brings standardization value. You can be confident that everyone who is certified by credentialing bodies like ATD will have proven capabilities in the body of knowledge relevant for working in the field.

How did your employer support your pursuit of the credential?
My employer pays for professional development in the form of conferences and certifications. While the CPTD is not directly related to the kinds of professional certifications they typically cover, I was able to make the case for its value to my manager, and they were supportive.

What does having your credential mean to you?
My credential is a hallmark of my cross-functional learning capability. I worked really hard for this (as I’m sure all certification holders did as well) trying to study in the middle of a pandemic along with managing the rest of my life. For me, getting this credential is a reflection of our abilities as humans to attain stretch goals.

How did you get into the talent development field?
As I noted, I began my career in business consulting and performance management before heading to graduate school and beginning an academic career. I have always considered myself not just a professor, researcher, and instructor but also someone who is actively developing talent for the professional field that my students are entering. I love teaching and coaching, and I do it in whatever position I have found myself in to date.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
You cannot be great at everything. Choose an area of focus, and then be great at it. In today’s parlance, it would probably be something along the lines of, “You are going to have FOMO (fear of missing out) and that’s alright.” You can reframe this to JOMO (joy of missing out) while you focus on things that are important for the life you wish to live.

What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
Cooking foods from around the world—I have a YouTube channel where I produce micro-learning videos showcasing how to cook many of the global cuisine-inspired recipes I have perfected over the years.

What is the most unusual job you've had?
I was both a waiter and a busser at the full-service breakfast cafe kitchen at my church in Nashville, Tennessee. The whole concept was such a tremendous learning experience.

Have you earned the APTD or CPTD? Share your story with the community.

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